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Profile for Rob M. Marchese > Reviews


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Rob M. Marchese RSS Feed (Clinton, CT)

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Soul Serenade
Soul Serenade
Offered by Thessaly's Trinkets
Price: $8.84
54 used & new from $0.17

60 of 60 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pop music fans need not apply..., August 28, 2003
This review is from: Soul Serenade (Audio CD)
The fourth installment from The Derek Trucks Band, Soul Serenade, which was apparently recorded before 2002's Joyful Noise, works as fine a follow-up as I can imagine. While Soul may rock less than Noise, its eclectic fusing of jazz, rock, Indian, blues, and even folk amalgamate to beautiful results.
These recordings-all-instrumental, save for Track 3, sung by Gregg Allman who's in fine form-are sophisticated compositions that have a discernible melodic structure-sometimes lacking from "jam bands." But to merely call TDTB a jam band would be doing them a disservice. The jams are never self-indulgent; they have direction and balance. The musicians have such a tight synergy between them that it appears they've been playing together for a decade or two. The tunes are at times jazzy: ("Bock To Bock"), funky: ("Soul Serenade/Rasta Man Chant"), bluesy: ("Drown In My Own Tears"), and ethereal: ("Oriental Folk Song" & "Sierra Leone"). Despite sounding like a mere rambling of music styles, the songs on the disc actually coalesce into a natural togetherness-creating a unified vibe.
The key word for this band is taste. They tastefully employ the use of flute (a rather audacious choice that works so well), played by the widely talented Kofi Burbridge. They tastefully keep their tunes to a reasonable length, never overplaying as far as I'm concerned. Even the packaging and liner notes (though a bit laconic) show good taste.
Like all great art, and I do believe this album exemplifies great art, Soul Serenade is truly original. But if I had to liken it to something, I'd compare them to Traffic (at their zenith), of course The Allman Brother's Band, and Wes Montgomery (the late jazz guitarist). And because it's great art, it's absolutely NOT for everyone. There are no "pop hooks" (I loathe that phrase) or riff based songs. There's no maudlin display of musicianship or image. There are simply forty or so minutes (I wish there was more) of great music.
The last thing I'll say is about Trucks himself. The CD includes a bonus interview where D.T. offers up his own take on his music. After watching this, I felt a tremendous respect for him; he is articulate, humble, and wise beyond his years. It's nice to know there are some artists who know not only what they're doing, but also why they're doing it.

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